2022 TikTok trends: Everything you need to know
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TikTok took the world by storm—and not just with platform users, but with businesses as well.
From being seen as just one more social media channel to becoming an important part of every successful brand’s marketing playbook—TikTok has revolutionized social media marketing. By the end of 2022, TikTok’s ad revenue is expected to triple, and they’re projected to own 20% of the social media market share, according to CNBC.
As with most social media platforms, things change quickly here and trends evolve at a rapid pace. The good news: We’ve gathered some of the top TikTok trends brands need to know about in 2022.
How is TikTok changing the way customers shop?
First: Let’s talk about the potential of this social media platform. TikTok has a reputation as a fun and casual social media platform, which is exactly why people love it. But it looks like that’s why brands love it, too.
TikTok’s formula for success is simple: Promote creativity, authenticity, and content that truly speaks to people.
The result? A social media platform that has transformed the way people discover products and shop. From showing products within rich context to movements like “TikTok made me buy it,” the platform has a significant influence on customers around the world.
According to Bazaarvoice, people who shop on TikTok browse and buy goods more frequently than shoppers on other social platforms. More than one-fifth of TikTok shoppers worldwide said they bought goods on TikTok “all of the time,” ahead of all other platforms.
Even more astounding is that more than half of all TikTokers have purchased a product after seeing it on the app. Today TikTok is a source of shopping inspiration for 58% of customers, and nearly 48% use it to gather shopping information, as reported by eMarketer.
More than half of all TikTokers have purchased a product after seeing it on the app
Another thing that makes TikTok different from other social media platforms is its creators. Instead of hyper-polished videos, we can see highly authentic content. As a result, customers are more willing to buy something promoted on the platform. Results from Bazaarvoice show that almost 45% of TikTok shoppers buy from paid influencer recommendations.
Aware of its unique positioning, TikTok encourages businesses to be authentic, with the mantra 'Don't Make Ads. Make TikToks'. Over the last year, the number of brands embracing the raw side of TikTok content has been on the rise. Well-known brands such as West Elm, Chipotle, and Nike are already nailing social media marketing with TikTok.
But the beauty of TikTok is that businesses of all sizes can achieve huge success there and go viral. To do so, you just need a finger on the pulse of what’s trending and what’s relevant within the current moment. Part of this includes being aware of the latest platform updates.
Latest TikTok updates
TikTok is constantly rolling out new solutions and tools to help businesses make the most out of their channel. Let’s take a look at some of the most recent updates.
TikTok launched a new contextual advertising solution to lure advertisers by giving them the ability to showcase their brands next to the top 4% of all videos on TikTok. TikTok Pulse is designed to help businesses be a part of everyday moments and trends that engage the community.
To top it off, the solution is also the first ad product that involves a revenue share with creators. In the initial stage of the program, eligible will be creators and publishers with at least 100k followers.
With TikTok Pulse, brands can place their ads next to the most culturally relevant content, which creates an unparalleled opportunity to engage with the communities that matter most to brands.
TikTok added a new feature to encourage engagement with the in-stream ads. TikTok’s Interactive Add-Ons prompt users to take action on a brand’s ad by inviting them into the experience with popups, stickers, and other visual elements.
TikTok found that users who like, share, or comment on videos are 150% more likely to buy a product or service. In other words, engaging users can pave the way to the “add to cart” button.
TikTok introduced standard add-ons for lower-funnel marketing goals, like driving clicks and conversions, and premium add-ons for upper-funnel goals, like brand awareness and community building.
If you’re just getting started with TikTok ads, you can always go to the TikTok Creative Center, where you’ll find curated collections of top-performing ads you can take inspiration from. You can also check stats about the ads, like campaign objectives, formats, duration, and more.
However, to help you create content that performs, we analyzed the latest TikTok trends. Ready to crack the code of the TikTok algorithm and get better reach? Check out what experts recommend.
Current TikTok trends, according to experts
In today’s digital world, every brand hopes its content will get seen and even go viral. But to reach that point takes some work.
While there’s no shortcut to success, there are some tried-and-tested TikTok content formats that can give you a head start. Which ones? Let’s dive in to find out.
- Leverage user-generated content with branded hashtags
Customers today look for unbiased feedback to help them decide whether to purchase a product. That’s why user-generated content (UGC) is so popular. UGC is content that customers create about a brand and its products.
As reported by Variety, UGC accounts for 39% of the weekly media hours consumed by Americans. The reason is simple: People prefer experience-driven, honest, and authentic content.
Brands love UGC as well—it’s efficient, and it doesn’t require any effort from their side. The tricky part is getting users to talk about your products. We can see brands promoting branded hashtags and even incentivizing customers with a giveaway or contest.
When brands sponsor a hashtag challenge on TikTok, it’s called a Branded Hashtag Challenge (HTC)—an incredibly effective way to boost awareness, drive engagement, and build a bigger fanbase. Compared to other platforms, TikTok’s best-in-class sound and video editing tools make participation easier, which translates to an unparalleled 17.5% median engagement rate on Branded HTCs.
Pringles crafted an exciting branded hashtag challenge called #PlayWithPringles and asked users to get creative with a Pringles can and film it. The result was mind-blowing. More than 4.5 billion views and 2 million videos. Just imagine two million people buying a Pringles can, creating content, and sharing it on TikTok.
The Pringles challenge went viral and injected the fun and playfulness of the brand into customers’ homes. This is a perfect example of the power of user-generated content and how it can put your brand in the spotlight.
- Use a cliffhanger that entices users to watch a bit longer
The TikTok algorithm considers factors such as likes, shares, comments, video completions, and rewatches or looping. Higher watch time on your video means users are spending more time on the platform. As a result, TikTok shows your video to more people, increasing the number of views. The same is true for TikTok ads.
According to TikTok expert Savannah Sanchez, TikTok will prioritize ads with high watch-time/engagement because they want users to have the best ad experience. One trick to boost your watch time is to use a cliffhanger in your ads.
A cliffhanger is an approach that entices users to watch your video a bit longer. The goal is to lead users further with each scene. Savannah highlights a Mixtiles ad as a great example of using a cliffhanger to get users to watch your video longer.
The before and after scene creates curiosity and urges users to keep watching. Next time you make a TikTok ad, think of ways to create a teaser to increase your watch time.
- Cash in on popular themes of TikTok videos
The #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt challenge taught us that even a seemingly random assortment of products can go viral and fly off shelves. This is a great lesson for brands—you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. See what works, and give your unique spin on a popular TikTok video theme.
Online shopping brings excitement, especially the moment you open your package for the first time. This expectations vs. reality hook is at the core of the popular TikTok video theme "What I Ordered vs. What I Got."
In the example Savannah Sanchez shared on Twitter, the creator is unboxing a Lively package and films a try-on haul to share if the expectations are met.
Another popular TikTok video is the #PassThePhone challenge, in which creators literally pass the phone to their friends seconds after teasing them. The chocolate chip cookie Chips Ahoy joined the challenge in an interesting way—with a video where different snacks describe each other in a funny way.
You’ve probably come across the "I Want It, I Got It" type of video where creators show what was on their wishlist and what they bought. According to Savannah, virtually taking the items out of the screen is an eye-catching way to grab your audience’s attention.
The haircare brand Monday used this trend to announce its products are available on Walmart.com.
These are just some examples of popular types of videos you can use as an inspiration for your next TikTok post.
- Use reverse clip in your ad intros
When a certain type of video is extremely popular, it means users find it interesting and engaging. One of them is the reverse clip.
TikTok has a great editing tool that allows brands to create compelling stories. If you’re testing new hooks, try using a reverse clip in your intro. As reported by Savannah Sanchez, split testing results for multiple clients show reverse clip is a winning intro hook.
- Try out an in-depth analysis video
As TikTok shifted from 15-second clips to lengthy videos (up to 10 minutes), we witnessed a rise in new video formats. Enter analysis video. This style of commentary is increasingly popular on the platform.
Creators use TikTok to give their two cents on different topics. From influencers to celebrity analysts, these long-form videos give creators space to express their opinion.
Just look at this example the skincare expert and medical aesthetician Cassandra Bankson created for NuFACE Facial Toning Device.
The video shows before and after pictures of Cassandra using the NuFACE device. Since the device costs a couple of hundred dollars, giving customers more context with an in-depth analysis and sharing results can be a great way to spark their interest.
- Blend in to stand out
TikTok has changed video content creation. The shift from sharp, polished, and overly scripted ads, to in-the-moment spontaneity and authentic videos changed customers’ expectations. As a result, if you want your TikTok ads to convert, you have to blend in to stand out.
Green Screen Eyes and Mouth is an effect in the TikTok platform that allows you to put a face on anything. Most videos with this feature incorporate humor. The gummy hair vitamins brand, SugarBear used this effect to create enticing content that TikTok users want to see.
Using tools inside the platform, like the green screen effect, will make your ads fit seamlessly into the feed.
TikTok is changing marketing
The rise of the creator economy brought new challenges for brands. Customers expect authentic content and genuine connections. As TikTok continues to gain momentum, it’s time for brands to embrace dynamic video, user-generated content, and creator marketing.